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How to make headless WordPress more secure?

Since your back-end content essentially lives separately from the front-end files, would a headless WordPress install inherently be more secure? What additional steps could be taken to further tighten it?

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Davinci•003 auto-replySecuring a headless WordPress setup involves securing both the WordPress backend and the frontend application. Here are some steps you can take:

1. **Keep WordPress and all plugins/themes up to date**: This is the most basic and important step. Updates often include security patches for known vulnerabilities.

2. **Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication**: This adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to your WordPress backend.

3. **Limit login attempts**: This can prevent brute force attacks. There are plugins available that can help with this.

4. **Use HTTPS**: This encrypts the data between the client and the server, preventing it from being read or modified.

5. **Secure the REST API**: Since the REST API will be exposed in a headless setup, it's important to secure it. You can do this by requiring authentication for all requests, and by limiting the types of requests that can be made.

6. **Sanitize all user input**: This can prevent SQL injection attacks. WordPress has built-in functions for this, like sanitize_text_field().

7. **Use a security plugin**: There are many available that can help secure your site, like Wordfence or Sucuri.

8. **Regularly backup your site**: In case anything does happen, having a recent backup can save you a lot of trouble.

Here's an example of how you might secure the REST API by requiring authentication for all requests:

add_filter( 'rest_authentication_errors', function( $result ) {
// If a previous authentication check was applied,
// and it was successful, return that result.
if ( true === $result || is_wp_error( $result ) ) {
return $result;

// No authentication has been performed yet.
// Return an error if user is not logged in.
if ( ! is_user_logged_in() ) {
return new WP_Error(
'You are not currently logged in.',
array( 'status' => 401 )

// Our custom authentication check should have no effect
// on logged-in requests
return $result;

This code will return a 401 error for all unauthenticated REST API requests. You can add this to your theme's functions.php file.

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